Projects and Publications

The Last Call: Preserving Washington’s Lost Historic Breweries

Master of Historic Preservation Final Project, Author


Before the rise of national and international beverage corporations, there were smaller, local breweries in nearly every state and major city in the nation, including Washington, D.C. In fact, the beer that Washingtonians drank for over 100 years was brewed and distributed within the boundaries of the Capital City and the history of these breweries is a microcosm of the city’s history. The commercial breweries that developed in the area during the second half of the nineteenth century were important to the community in many different ways: they provided employment; produced a relatively low-alcohol potable beverage, at a time when clean drinking water was not a guarantee; and created a product that facilitated a sense of community and local pride. However, near the turn of the twentieth century, national corporate breweries began to take market share away from local breweries. When prohibition began in Washington in 1917, most local breweries closed and many were never able to recover. The few who did were gone by the mid-twentieth century, and their buildings have all been lost. To recapture their history, this study surveys the city’s local breweries between 1850 and 1950, drawing on city directories, historic newspapers and maps, to document the rise and fall of this important industry and preserve this lost history, and considers its context in the history of Washington D.C., and the history of brewing in the United States. The report also examines the modern local brewing industry in Washington, and considers its potential role in helping to interpret the history of the historic breweries that came before it and offers recommendations for an interpretive strategy based on extant structures from the greater cultural landscape of the historic local brewing industry. The ultimate goal is preserving a lost history that was not seen as worthy of preservation when there was still a chance to save the physical, tangible aspects of Washington’s brewing history.

Compton Bassett: Balancing Preservation and Change: A Cultural Landscape Report

Master of Historic Preservation Team Studio Project, Co-Author

This Cultural Landscape was produced by a group consisting of myself and five other Master of Historic Preservation students. While I did not write this entire report, I contributed much fieldwork, photographic and drawing documentation (of natural and cultural resources), and created many of the maps, graphics, and photographs used in the report.

Executive Summary:

Situated along the Patuxent River in eastern Prince George’s County, Maryland, Compton Bassett is a former plantation site now owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). The site began as a tobacco plantation in 1699, before broadening into wider agricultural use in the nineteenth century. After the Civil War, the site was shaped by the transition from enslaved to free labor, and in the twentieth century by the decline of the region’s large-scale tobacco cultivation. Throughout its history, relationships between natural and cultural resources have shaped the site.

This report seeks to understand these connections, which have defined the Compton Bassett landscape. In order to accomplish this we employed a cultural landscape approach. We researched the history of the site and conducted an inventory of existing conditions, including physical resources on the site, demographics, and the planning and regulatory framework. From this research, we developed site themes, rethought the statement of significance, and developed recommendations for the site’s immediate and long term future. Our hope is that this report will inform future stewardship of the property.

Window Shutters on Historic Properties” in Built to Last, The L’Enfant Trust’s Guide to Preserving Your Historic Exterior, Co-Author.

A brief bulletin for property owners on the context and proper use of shutters on historic buildings, discussing their context and importance, as well as their hardware, styles, and materials.

Book Review: A Field Guide to American Houses” on The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Leadership Forum Blog, Co-Author.